Pick of the Day: Regina Plains Museums

Earlier this month (Dec. 15 to be precise) the Regina Plains Museum celebrated its 50th anniversary. I'm not familiar with the museum's exact history, but do know it used to be much bigger than it is today. Not on par with a Western Development Museum, certainly, but with enough room to showcase a substantial portion of the artifacts it houses in replica one-room school houses, blacksmith shops, general stores and whatnot.

If something ever comes of the plan to convert the Legion and the building to the south of it into a performing arts complex the museum is supposed to be a prime candidate to become an anchor tenant. But that likely won't be happening any time soon. So for now the museum is stuck with its smaller space.

On display there now are two shows with strong ties to the city's past. Germantown (an image from which is pictured second from above), was curated by Yolanda Hansen, and examines the working-class neighbourhood that sprung up in east central Regina in the early 1900s as waves of immigrants from eastern Europe settled in Regina. During WWI in particular, many of the immigrants were subjected to xenophobic discrimination by the dominant Anglo-Saxon class, but they persevered and helped create one of Regina's more vibrant and thriving neighbourhoods.

Also on display is First Peoples Urban Experience. Produced through the collaborative effort of the North Central Community Association, Scott Collegiate, the City of Regina Archive and the RPM, it's a five-minute digital exhibit which chronicles the history of Aboriginal settlement in Regina. Until the early '60s, of course, First Nations people in Canada were severely restricted in their ability to move off reserve. Really, it wasn't until the early '70s that widespread migration of Aboriginal people to cities began. With commentary from an elder and another First Nations Reginan, the exhibit explores the Aboriginal facet of Regina's identity (pictured above, by the way, is Greg Girard's Smudge Walk).

Both shows are on until February. But if you're looking for something to do today, check them out.

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